After his death, Eddie travels through endlessly changing colors in between the phases of heaven. As stated directly during the final pages of the novel, Eddie discovers that these colors represent the ever-changing “emotions of his life.” No one color is more prominent than another, and they are all described in beautiful, specific language. Likewise, Eddie’s emotions are all equally important and add beauty and detail to his experiences in life. Colors also bring Eddie’s memories to life: he remembers the dark brown of Marguerite’s hair, the whiteness of the ribbons she wrapped around bags of taffy on his birthdays, and the blackness of the coal mines where he was held captive during the war. Eddie’s depression and struggle to feel emotion after the war is described as the “darkness.”
Color and Darkness Quotes in The Five People You Meet in Heaven
How can he explain such sadness when she is supposed to make him happy? (…) She looks beautiful wearing the print dress Eddie likes, her hair and lips done up. Eddie feels the need to inhale, as if undeserving of such a moment. He fights the darkness within him. “Leave me alone,” he tells it. “Let me feel this way, I should feel it.”
The old darkness has taken a seat alongside him. He is used to it by now, making room for it the way you make room for a commuter on a crowded bus.
He was nothing now, a leaf in the water, and she pulled him gently, through shadow and light, through shades of blue and ivory and lemon and black, and he realized all these colors, all along, were the emotions of his life.